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Debt collection – using NRL (to make it less boring)

Debt collection is scary and boring – as a topic!  I thought I would make it move relatable by describing debt collection using NRL players.  Working in the debt collection industry now, but one of my previous roles was GM of AFL Football Leagues in Melbourne and Darwin. To improve my skills, I did a Masters in Sport Business in the Melbourne role as I was looking after 80 Leagues, 800 clubs and around 70,000 players.

The reason I did this was so OTHERS would believe that I knew what I was talking about! AND SO I KNEW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT.

The degree and the modules I found are all very transferable skills.  And running a football league is surprisingly similar to running a debt collection business,  Or any business for that matter.

The major difference.  Debt collection is not sexy to talk about where any sports follower can listen to sports admin stories forever.

In Sport or credit management, you have to have the right team under you.  The RIGHT STRATEGIES, DISCIPLINE, TEAM GOALS, KEEP FOCUSED, HAVE POLICIES IN PLACE and stick to them so you get to your end goal.

You also have to have SPECIALISTS IN POSITIONS as there are some jobs that you either can’t do, don’t want to do or do not know how to do! In a football team you then recruit that player, admin person, psychologist.  They may be a contractor, full time, part time or even a volunteer.

So, at CCA, we specialise in terms of trade, PPSR registrations, credit reporting and debt collection.

These are all SPECIALISED AREAS that generally do not come up in every day or weekly management meetings.
Many businesses neglect, or just don’t have the right terms of trade, or check out who they are really dealing with and if or when things do not go to script having someone to make those phone calls to ask for YOUR money!
These are the jobs that no one wants to do!  The job we at CCA say we do at a bbq and always one in the group slowly backs away and hides!)

But we do become the go to guy – the resident expert as the facts are that people hate having to follow up “THEIR” money, OR the hard emotional game of asking for your money.  And hate having the customer working out if you are hard, angry, soft, vulnerable or worst off – DESPERATE!

Not every one has the skills to collect money – and it is hard.

It is even harder when you don’t know who you are COLLECTING FROM or do not have a CONTRACT OR SIGNED TERMS OF TRADE.

So, yes, this is not a “sexy topic”!  But IMPORTANT so to help I am going to INTERCHANGE WHAT WE DO WITH FOOTBALL to hopefully make it more entertaining and maybe listenable!

In debt collection and credit management our role is to be a cross between


BELLAMY – Coaches you as to what to watch for strategise about the opposition.  Teaches you that you need to have eyes and ears open and you need to anticipate the opposition and position your self well.  TRANSLATION – Works out what terms of trade clauses you need.  Eyes and ears open by getting credit reports done and then play by the rules so that you minimise any opportunity to not get paid. Make sure you know the fine print!

CAM SMITH – tackle, tackle, tackle – kick the goal.  TRANSLATION  Always secure your creditors! Lock them in with PPSR registrations. If they go into liquidation at least you are secured and get some money back and avoid preferential payment claw back

COOPER CRONK – Read the play and be ready to switch attack if need be mid game.  TRANSLATION.  Do credit reports PRIOR to dealing and that way you know who you are playing.  You set up the play on your terms and you can do alerts should the opposition change players mid game. At half time he talks to Bellamy and if things need to change they can do a variation and get that signed and instruct the team.

BILLY SLATER – Mops up down back and any balls that get through he either tackles the attacker or sets up for the next attack. TRANSLATION –Debt collection.  If all the above fails then make sure you have a Billy Slater to stop those getting through.  Have a back up plan and one who is reliable


WAYNE BENNETT (after a loss talking to the media)!  If your client is grumpy, wont discuss things, demanding, short on responses then that is generally how they are all the time.  Hiding something or not wanting to work with you then any amount of checking and fine print will probably end badly

JONATHAN THURSTON – Some guys are just good.  And what ever you do they are going to slip through. Extremely hard to pick but having the best fine print can make these guys think that there are a lot easier targets out there than Cam Smith and Billy Slater.

JOHN HOPOATE – NRL’s most suspended player!  If a company has form, just avoid them!  They tend not to care about rules and regulations and when or if they get to a court or tribunal you are wasting time and money trying to get them to pay you.

OUR BIGGEST LESSON is that you are trying to get protected against the MAJORITY – NOT THE MINORITY.

But if you do have dealings with the minorities then make sure you DO YOUR HOME WORK!  CREDIT REPORTS, SIGNED AGREEMENTS, PPSR’S REGISTERED and do not build credit up. Even a simple Google search of Directors names, Companies names can give you reason to see and hear “red lights”.


WE all LIVE AND LEARN – you have to:

  2. you have to ask for what is yours
  4. work on making sure the majority of your deals are covered not the minorities.

***I do not personally know any of the players mentioned so apologies for any issues.


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